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The Evil That People Do

·Poor [Woe to] me! I am like a hungry man,
    and all the summer fruit has been picked—
there are no grapes left to eat,
    none of the early figs I ·love [crave].
All of the faithful people ·are gone [L have perished from the land/earth];
    there is not one ·good [upright] person left in this country.
Everyone ·is waiting to kill someone [L lies in wait for blood];
    everyone ·is trying to trap someone else [L hunts his brother with a net].
With both hands they are doing evil.
    Rulers ask for ·money [gifts],
    and judges’ decisions are bought for a ·price [bribe].
·Rich [Influential; Great] people ·tell what they want [make demands],
    and they get it.
Even the best of them is like a ·thornbush [brier];
    the most ·honest [upright] of them is worse than a ·prickly plant [thorn hedge].
The day ·that your watchmen warned you about [L of your watchmen; C the coming exile predicted by the prophets] has come.
    Now they will be confused [C without the guidance of the prophets].
Don’t ·believe [trust] your neighbor
    or ·trust [put confidence in] a friend.
·Don’t say anything [L Guard the doors of your mouth],
    even to ·your wife [L the one who lies on your bosom].
A son will not honor his father,
    a daughter will ·turn against [defy; rise up against] her mother,
and a daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law;
    a person’s enemies will be ·members of his own family [or the servants of his household; L the men/people of his house; Matt. 10:36].

The Lord’s Kindness

Israel says, “I will look to the Lord for help.
    I will wait for God ·to save me [my savior];
    my God will hear me.
Enemy, don’t ·laugh at [gloat over] me.
    I have fallen, but I will get up again.
I sit in ·the shadow of trouble now [L darkness],
    but the Lord will be a light for me.
I sinned against the Lord,
    so ·he was angry with me [L I will bear the wrath of the Lord],
but he will ·defend my case in court [plead my case].
    He will ·bring about what is right [accomplish justice] for me.
Then he will bring me out into the light,
    and I will see ·him set things right [his righteousness/justice/vindication].
10 Then my enemies will see this,
    and they will be ·ashamed [L covered wth shame],
those who said to me,
    ‘Where is the Lord your God?’
I will ·look down on [gloat over] them.
    They will ·get walked on [be trampled down], like mud in the street.”

Israel Will Return

11 The ·time [L day] will come when your walls will be built again,
    when your ·country will grow [borders will be extended].
12 ·At that time [L In that day] your people will come back to you
    from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
and from Egypt to the ·Euphrates River [L River],
    and from sea to sea and mountain to mountain.
13 The earth will be ·ruined [desolate] ·for [or because of] the people who live in it
    ·because [L for the fruit] of their deeds.

A Prayer to God

14 So shepherd your people with your ·stick [shepherd’s staff];
    tend the flock of ·people who belong to you [L your inheritance/possession].
That flock now lives alone in the forest
    in the middle of ·a garden land [pasturelands; or Carmel].
Let them ·feed [graze] in Bashan and Gilead
    as in days long ago.

15 “As in the days when I brought you out of Egypt,
I will show them ·miracles [wonders].”

16 When the nations see those miracles,
    they will ·no longer brag [be ashamed/disappointed] about their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths,
    ·refusing to listen [and their ears will be deaf].
17 They will ·crawl in the [L lick] dust like a snake,
    like ·insects crawling [or serpents; L crawling things] on the ground.
They will come trembling from their ·holes [or strongholds] to the Lord our God
    and will turn in fear before you.
18 There is no God like you.
    You forgive those who are guilty of sin;
you ·don’t look at the sins [pass over the transgressions] of ·your people
    who are left alive [L the remnant of your inheritance].
You will not stay angry forever,
    because you ·enjoy [delight in] ·being kind [mercy; lovingkindness].
19 You will have ·mercy [compassion] on us again;
    you will conquer our sins.
You will ·throw away [hurl; cast] all our sins
    into the ·deepest part [depths] of the sea.
20 You will be ·true [faithful] to ·the people of Jacob [L Jacob],
    and you will ·be kind [show mercy/lovingkindness] to ·the people of Abraham [L Abraham]
as you promised to our ·ancestors [fathers] long ago.

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